At Glitter Guide, we are always looking for cool new brands to introduce to our readers. When they are beautiful and give back to those in need, it’s even better! Because November is gratitude month at Glitter Guide and the start of the holiday season, we could not think of a better time to introduce you to Gratitude Collaborative—the most beautiful gifting service that also gives back. Today, Abby is chatting with founder and CEO, Dana Ashmore. Read on below to learn more about the company and the boxes available.
Tell us about Gratitude Collaborative!
We are a high-end gifting company that gives back. For every box that is purchased, we provide meals for kids in the United States. We also collaborate with a number of organizations and nonprofits to help fulfill their missions through donations and charitable work. We offer standard seasonal boxes on our website, but we also work with individuals and corporations to create custom gifts, both individual and large-scale.
How did you get the idea for Gratitude Collaborative?
I am a television and film producer and I have made gifts for our company every year for about 5 years. So, I started doing it for other companies, as well. I enjoyed the process so much that I thought it would be a great idea to start a company that gave back.
What does a typical day (or week) look like for Gratitude Collaborative?
I wake up at 4 a.m., then I go to the flower market and make flowers, have coffee, etc. We all check emails and have a daily meeting. Then, we all deliver until about 6 p.m. and go back to checking emails!
What was the hardest part of getting Gratitude Collaborative off the ground? Any setbacks?
I think that you have to just have faith in what you doing. I question myself a lot, and I sometimes just have to trust that I’m making the right decisions. In starting a small business, you have to invest money to make it, and I’m always trying to figure out the right ways to do it. It’s the unknowns in the beginning: how much do you pay for a website that makes your life easier, or do pay for public relations, do you pay for supplies, will you ever have enough to pay yourself? It’s all very hard. My biggest piece of advice is to try things and if they work, stick to them, and if they don’t, try something different and don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t pay attention to what other people are doing in your same field, because what they are doing may not work for you.
People you couldn’t live without?
This past year has been so crazy and I couldn’t have done it without the confidence and support from Laura Bousman, our vice president. She keeps me fed and laughing and is my vice president in life; she’s the words to my thoughts. Ilana Saul—I brought her our first gift box ever to see if I was crazy to start on this roller coaster. She told me to dive in headfirst and has been so supportive every day. Priscilla Vega and Katie Dean are two ladies that I learn so much from. They answer all my crazy questions at any hour, and I really am so grateful for them.
How do you decide which brands and artisans to partner with/feature in your boxes?
We work with brands that we have tried and loved ourselves, and we have other friends make recommendations to us. My friends help out a lot. I feel I get at least five texts a week from my girlfriends, taking photos of amazing things they have found.
Do you have any favorite boxes that you’ve put together?
My favorite are the new mom boxes. I love putting them together and delivering—it’s such a warm feeling making a box for a new mom. It’s so special, and always the sweetest deliveries—I get to meet dads, new moms, grandmas. They are always so happy to receive a gift.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Two things: the flowers and our vendors. I’m a businesswoman, and I never thought I would enjoy flowers, and it’s now my favorite part. I feel I have become a crazy flower lady, I talk to them constantly. As for our vendors, it’s so great to work with other small businesses. We have learned so much from other companies. They have been so much of why we have been able to grow.
Photos of me! I come from a career where I’m behind the camera, not in front of it! I would rather be dressed in grungy pajamas and covered in mud with my hair in a messy bun.
What apps/systems keep you organized on a daily basis?
We are a really small company, and I feel like our store apps keep us sane. I couldn’t live without Shopify. It helps our whole team stay organized and keep up with our orders. I also love Planoly for Instagram. It helps us plan out our Instagram posts a few weeks out, so we always make sure our photos are consistent.
You also seem to have a knack for throwing beautiful and intimate dinner parties! What’s your favorite thing about these gatherings?
I love that we have so many amazing people come together that normally wouldn’t—from all different businesses—that can sit down and have a great time and find things in common. It’s nice to have the cell phones off and just sit around and actually talk to people…and eat amazing food (Croft Alley’s delicious meals and good wine help move the conversation along)!
Now for some quick rapid fire questions…
Where do you see Gratitude Collaborative in the next two years?
We are sharing our #flashesofgratitude on GG this month. What are you grateful for this year?
My friends and family. As I mentioned, it’s been a crazy year (both personally and with starting a small business). I can’t believe the amazing women I have around me, and my family is just incredible. My mom has made her fair share of boxes this year, and I couldn’t have done it without her!